In April of 2016, the Independent Voter Project (IVP) filed a brief of amicus curiae with the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. in the case Level the Playing Field, et. al. v. Federal Election Commission. Level the Playing Field, along with the national Green and Libertarian parties, are challenging the legality of a presidential debate rule that prevents candidates outside the Republican and Democratic parties from being competitive in presidential elections.
“Without participating in one of the two parties’ private nomination processes, a candidate cannot realistically qualify for the presidential debates. And without entrance into the presidential debates, no candidate can challenge the nominees of the two parties in the competition of ideas and governmental policies,” writes IVP attorney Chad Peace in the amicus brief.
The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in June 2015, charging that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) and certain of its directors have violated federal election law, including an FEC regulation that requires organizations like the debates commission to be “nonpartisan” and to use “objective criteria” to determine who can be in their debates.
Oral argument is to be heard on the case in January of 2017.